Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Late Christmas Wish

I don't know the author of this blog, but I read her plea on Tudor City Girl's blog.  I'm a huge fan of TCG.  She's such an inspiration, and such a positive force.  Does that sound weird?  To be so inspired by a bloggy friend that I don't really even know?  It's the fact that she takes the time to answer a plea from a blog friend that makes her so dear. 

And because I adore that about her.  And because my heart swelled when I read this post....I am going to post Brandy's plea as well.

As we head into this New Year, please remember to appreciate those that you love.  Life is so busy.  It's easy to forget that today could be the last.  For any of us.

Brandy, although I don't even know your blog name...please know that I'm sending prayers and thoughts to you and your love.  I still believe in miracles :)

My name is brandy. And I have a blog.

And a plea.

I use my blog to showcase the crazy I meet everyday, share the stories of the kids I teach and document my love for tequila, dairy products and the abdominal muscles of Ryan Reynolds. Rarely do I talk about personal issues on my blog- as personal as the dude that I adore (who I actually met through my blog- single ladies, let that be a very good reason to blog, the possibility of meeting someone as wonderful as my man), but I need your help. And it involves my dude.

He's a guy who made math comics for my class, so they would love learning about addition. He's the kinda guy who sends my friends gift cards when they are having hard times, who remembers every story I ever told him, who was the first person I celebrated with when I got a teaching job. He's the guy who sent flowers to me at school- dozens of my favourite pink roses just because he loves me. He's a guy who has spent a year patiently explaining (and re-explaining) everything there is to know about football during the important games when silence is preferred. He's made me word puzzles and comics and stayed up late playing Scrabble with me (even though I beat him almost every time). He's listened to me cry about school and family and jobs. He is everything I never knew I needed and everything I always knew I wanted.

The holidays have hit us hard. He's recently been told he may have something called multiple myeloma- an incurable cancer, that gives a person an average of five years of continued life. Though this news has came as a shock, he continues to be exactly who has always been- spending his time worrying about me, rather than worrying about himself. He's the most selfless individual I know- (he stayed late on Christmas Eve to work, so his co-workers could leave early) and a post like this would never be something that he would promote or encourage but when I'm overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the blogging community has always given me tremendous support and comfort, two things I desperately need at this time.

As I write this, the future is uncertain and we aren't sure what's happening. He'll need to see an oncologist soon, to verify what's going on in his body. My hope is that everyone who reads this think positive thoughts and if you are a person who prays, could you add him to your list? (You can refer to him as 'brandy's hot awesome dude'). If you don't pray, please keep him in your heart.This cancer is only a possibility and I believe that the prayers and positive thoughts of people can make sure it never becomes a reality.

I want to give a big thank you to the blog owner who scraped their original blog plans and graciously put this up. My goal is to get as many people as possible to see and read this post. If you are reading this and want to help, copy and paste my plea into your blog or send a link through twitter, so more people can keep him in their thoughts. I would be so very grateful (even more grateful than I am to my friend who first showed me the picture of Ryan Reynolds on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. If you haven't seen it, google it. You. Are. Welcome).

I realize this all sounds dramatic, a Lifetime movie in the making- but this is life. Right now. And I'm throwing away any hint of ego and am humbly asking for you to pray or think kind thoughts. If you are able to pass this on, thank you and if you know anything regarding MM- please email me (my email is on my blog). This isn't a call for sympathy or a plea for pity. It's just one girl hoping you can think positive thoughts for the person she adores. If my current heartache provides you with anything, let it be with the reminder that life is short, love is unbending and no one knows what could happen next. Maybe it is silly, but I really do believe that positive thoughts can make a huge difference. Thank you for reading this and if you haven't already? Please tell someone you love them today.

I did.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Okay, So I Lied...

I have more to say about Christmas.

Like the fact that TEN got me these awesome stemless wine glasses, that are shaped more like rocks glasses, but are thin like wine glasses...that have "VINO" etched in them.

Like the fact that TEN's mother got me the prettiest scarf and necklace for Christmas.

Like the fact that TEN's sister gave me a bottle of champagne that says "Bitch" on the front.

Like the fact that TEN got me a foot massager, because he is not on board with massaging my feet.

Like the fact that I bought TEN socks and underwear for his stocking, and kindove feel like we are an old married couple because of it.

Like the fact that TEN's mother bought her boyfriend one of those laughing monkeys.  Do you know what I mean?  They are all the rage at the moment (apparently), and Louis snatched it!  He would not give it back.  So TEN's mother had to go to the store to buy another one so that Louis would quit having a fit.  SO EMBARRASSING!!!

Like the fact that Louis is STILL obsessed with this monkey, and I've taken a video.  (Please overlook the fact that my rug needs to be vacuumed.  Obviously I have been a little busy, and the cleaning lady comes tomorrow:)

Like the fact that TEN completely spoiled me with gifts, and is still give me ANOTHER one!  He is building me a bar for my dining room.  I don't have a proper bar, and I found one in Real Simple magazine that one can build in a closet.  It's rather swanky looking, and TEN has consulted with an electrician friend and a contractor friend and they are going to "break ground" after the first of the year. 

Like the fact that as much as I think I have to complain about sometimes (mother, TEN, Louis...whatever), I truly am the luckiest girl in the world.


Real Quick Like...

Christmas was lovely.  I know you have read a thousand of I won't go into the loveliness that was mine.  I'll just give a few bullets, real quick like:

1.  TEN, Louis and I drove to Big City, VA on Thursday morning.  We were late leaving.  It was Louis' fault.  Obviously.

2.  Dropped TEN and Louis at TEN's mother's house.  I trucked on to my mother's.

3.  Watched Up in the Air.  It wasn't funny.  At all.  Good movie.  Just not funny. Not sure why I was expecting it to be?

4.  Watched It's Complicated.  Hilarious. 

5.  T=sick.  As in "I cannot catch my breath, or go to midnight mass, or anywhere else because I am dying" sick.

6.  Skipped midnight mass and fancy dinner.  Ate yummy pork tenderloin.  Thanks mother, it was tasty :)

7.  Ate Chinese on Christmas.  Yumm.

8.  Drove to BFF from High School's home for a visit.  Saturday.  Party + more food + presents = lovely.

9.  Drove back to Big City, VA to have dinner with TEN's mother, sister, brother, sister-in-law, neice & nephew Sunday afternoon.  Talk about total family submersion.  Yikes!  Thank goodness they are all nice and fun and silly...just like me.  I pigged out, drank wine, relaxed and then we hit the road.  Again.

10.  TEN, Louis and I drove back to Smalltown, VA Sunday night. 

11.  I slept all day Monday because I was off.  And sick.  Yawn.

Now, a few funny tidbits:

TEN gave his father and brother "the leg lamp" from A Christmas Story.  And they loved it. Seriously:

Louis opened his own Christmas presents, and is rather good at it :

TEN's nephew M adores Louis.  He could not stop giving him hugs :

I received some fabulous gifts for Christmas.  I have my Thank You Card List right here.  Not that I would EVER write thank you cards while at work, of course, but I will get to them promptly :)  My absolute favorite gift was:

I'm shallow.  I know.  Shut up.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Christmas to All!

I realize that everyone doesn't celebrate Christmas.  Many of my friends are Jewish, and I also know someone who is Buddhist.  I probably know other people who celebrate other religious holidays, but I'm just not aware.  Regardless, I still wish a Happy Christmas to everyone....unless of course I know you are not celebrating.

Yes, it's a blend of Merry Christmas and Happy something, but whatever.

Here's my thinking.  When someone (and it does happen) wishes me a Happy Hanukka, I say "Happy Hanukka" back to them with a big smile.  I'm Christian, but the point is...they are wishing me something good.  Something lovely that they celebrate and means so very much to them.  They are extending a greeting of this to me.   I don't think they are trying to insult me.  Nor do I think they are saying "my religion is the right religion, and yours is not".  It's just a lovely greeting.  That's it. 

So, please don't be offended if I wish you a Happy Christmas, okay?  I don't mean to force you to be Christian if you aren't.  I don't mean to say that my beliefs are better than yours.  What I mean to say is "This is a very special time of year for me.  I believe that ultimately because of Jesus' birth on December 25th I will be forgiven for my sins, and I will go to heaven.  There was a whole life between his birth and his death, of course, but his birth on December 25th is when it all started.  You may think I'm bonkers....and that's okay!  It doesn't matter.  I just wanted to wish you a happy sentiment that means the world to me". 

Because really, how can anyone fault you for that? 

Happy Christmas to All!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Back to the Office & Grooming Debacle...

The roads in Smalltown, VA are pretty much clear now...although my street still has quite a bit of snow.  I rode downtown to work with TEN today, but made it home at lunch to take Louis out.  I absolutely love the snow, but I do need to get around and such too :)  I've got more Christmas shopping to do, and unfortunately I've saved it for tonight.  Ugghhh....

Yesterday we took Louis to the groomer in the morning before work.  The idea was to pick him up at lunch, but since I was dependent on TEN and his vehicle...that didn't happen.  TEN had lots going on at work, and wasn't able to take me to pick up Louis until almost 4pm.  Poor little guy!  He was in a crate all day at the groomer :( 

When we arrived to pick him up the groomer said she had washed Louis for a second time because he had soiled his crate and danced all around in it.  BLECH!  She wanted him to be just perfect and handsome when we arrived.  How lovely is she?!??!  Due to the snow and such she had tried to walk the puppies, but we all know how Louis feels about pottying in the that was of no use.  He apparently shredded the paper in the first crate he was in, so she moved him to another crate.  He shredded that paper, and on to another crate.  He went through 5.  Sigh. 

I was a little bit embarrassed, but when I saw my little gentleman all groomed and handsome I totally forgot about being embarrassed.  He is such a cutie pie!  TEN and I weren't sure at first that it was Louis! was.  He's the same precious, cuddly little fellow...just looking a bit more debonair:

I had taken a few picture of my little man the night before his hair cut, just so I would be sure to remember they way he looked as a messy little puppy.  He was so precious that way, but he was starting to get a bit unruly looking....

After we brought Louis home TEN decided we needed a snowman.  I have never built a snowman, but was pretty sure it was easy.  Not so much.  TEN made the large snowball, but it was all rigid and square on the sides.  I tried to smooth it, but my hands were too cold and Louis wouldn't hold still.  So, TEN fixed it a bit.  I was happy to stand by, with Louis, and to observe.  I'm rather pleased with the outcome.  The fact that TEN put his glasses on the snowman made it silly.  Just the perfect snowman for us!!

Tomorrow is the last day of work for both of us, and then we are heading to our parent's homes in BigCity, VA on Christmas Eve morning.  We have all of our packages wrapped, and I have just a few more gifts to buy tonight and I will be done. 

Even though we will both be in the same city, there are so many people for both of us to see that getting together on Christmas isn't going to happen this year.  So, TEN and I are having our Christmas tomorrow night.  I'm making my famous pot roast, and we will have a fire and open our gifts with little Louis dancing around eating all of the paper no doubt!  I sure hope TEN likes what I got him.  It's rather a hodge podge of things that don't go together or have a theme or anything.  I started with a theme, but it went down the toilet when I kept finding other little things he had mentioned that he wanted.  The thing about TEN is that even if he doesn't like something I've gotten him he won't say so.  He will use it/wear it/whatever it and I will never know.  Hmph.  Oh least I know he really will get some use out of the socks and underwear filling his stocking....


Monday, December 21, 2009

Cocktail Swap!

I mentioned last week that my girlfriend Daisy came up with the idea of a "Cocktail Swap" rather than a cookie swap.  I adored the idea, and all the girls got together to share their favorite cocktail recipes.  We each mixed a batch of our cocktail, for everyone to try, and then Daisy made a little book with all of the recipes for each of us to take home.  AND...she etched each of our names into a cocktail glass for us to use the night of the swap.  Isn't she clever!!! 

(barbie & the cocktails!  all lined up on daisy's counter)

(daisy, babbo natale & barbie.  a few cocktails down & they think they are rap stars!)

(babbo natale trying some sangria...yummm!)

(me and my new friend H)

(all of the girls in front of the tree with our cocktails!!)

I thought I would share the cocktail recipes with you as well:)  Because really, who isn't looking for a new cocktail recipe to try?

Cany Cane Martini
1 shot Vanilla Rum
1 shot Godiva White Chocolate Liquor
1 shot Peppermint Schnapps
Directions: Add contents to a shaker with ice & pour into martini glass.  Garnish with a candy cane.

Grinch Christmas Cocktail
1 oz. Midori sour
3 oz. Vodka
1 oz. Conteau
1 oz. Sweet & Sour Mix
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.  Shake well, strain into a large cocktail glass and serve.

Bourbon a la Crème
2 oz. Bourbon
1 oz. Crème de Cacoa (yes, this is spelled correctly..i checked :)
1 Vanilla Bean
Directions: Pour the Bourbon and brown Crème de Cacoa over the Vanilla Bean in a mixing glass half-filled with ice cubes.  Stir well.  Strain into a glass without ice, and chill in the refridgerator for at least one hour.  Pour into a white wine glass, stir well and serve.

1 part Absolut Mandarin
1 part Absolut Citron
1 part Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice
2 parts Simple Syrup
Directions: Serve in a chilled sugar-rimmed martini glass and may your troubles dissolve away!

Prosecco Sangria
1 peach
1 nectarine
3 apricots
5 oz. Peach Brandy
1 bottle (750 mL) chilled Prosecco (Itailian Sparkling Wine)
1 cup peach nectar
Superfine Sugar (optional)
Directions: In a pitcher, combine peach, nectarine and apricots (all pitted and cut into wedges).  Stir in Peach Brandy; let sit at least 1 hour . Stir in Prosecco and peach nectar.  Add superfine sugar, if desired.  Serve Chilled.  Makes about 2 quarts.

AND finally...mine!  Yes, yes...I know you have seen this before :)  It's my favorite blueberry lemonade from my July 4th weekend at the lake!

Blueberry Sangria Lemonade
1-1/2 cups Frozen Blueberries
1 (12oz) can Frozen Concentrate Pink Lemonade
1 bottle Chardonnay
3 cups Sprite
1/2 cup Cognac
Directions: Mix together in a pitcher, chill and serve.



Working From Home... does have it's pros and cons :)

I'm tempted to turn off the computer and snuggle up on the couch.  I think this is a pro, but I'm sure my boss would consider it a con.

I've got a conference call at 11:30 with our London office.  After that, I can't really promise much.

My street hasn't been plowed yet.  My car (which is a rear wheel drive, sports series Mercedes) has been in a downtown parking garage since Friday. TEN drove the three of us (Louis came to work with me Friday in case I couldn't get back home) back to my house Friday night.  Thank goodness he has 4WD!  This morning was Louis' first grooming appointment and haircut.  We loaded into TEN's 4WD and made it to the groomer's house.  I told my boss TEN could bring me into the office, and he told me not to bother.  Just to be on the 11:30 conference call.  Hmmm....I'm thinking that's an excuse to be lazy all day, no?

My cold is still going full force, and I sound like I'm holding my nose while talking.  BUT...I'm at home in a big sweater, comfy jeans and my Uggs.  I can't really ask for more :)

I found another picture from the weekend.  TEN was heaving snow balls at my neighbors, while they were all shoveling.  I don't know why this picture makes me smile...I think it's because it reminds me that now matter how old we get....we will always have a little bit of "kid" in us :)


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Bunnies

The snow started up again, but then stopped.  TEN was going a bit stir crazy and insisted we venture out to the mall. 

When we got there, TEN remarked "huh, there aren't really any stores open".  Hmmmmm....YOU THINK?!?!?!?!  Sheesh.  So, we walked the mall, left the mall, and TEN drove in circles in his SUV having a fabulous time in the parking lot.  The entire time I thought I was going to toss my cookies. 

On the way back we stopped by the park where people were sleeding and took some picture.  I wish Louis had been with us!

And finally...we headed back home :

Fire in the fireplace, cocktails and a full cubbard.  I don't plan on going anywhere again in the near future :)


17 Inches!

Smalltown, VA received 17 inches of snow yesterday and today.  It is truly a winter wonderland!  I missed most of last night's snowfall due to my 102 degree temperature (I was sleeping on the couch), but TEN did wake me up to show me his snow sculpture of Louis:

He was up late feeding me Tylenol, and monitoring the snow fall:

This morning there was much shovelling to be done, and I cried "sick", so he took over:

Louis is not a fan of going potty in the snow.  He is, however, quite the fan of running like a mad man through it.  He's quite the little investigator, and finds snow fascinating.  Apparently far too fascinating to use the potty in.  He has reserved that for the kitchen this weekend :(

My neighbor's car was stuck in the middle of the street, and after TEN took a drive down it, there were sufficient tracks for Louis to run in.  He found a little Louis sized race track and went back and forth until he exhausted himself:

I hope you are all staying warm, and if you are getting snow this's to hoping you have as much fun as we are!  We are off to the store for diet cokes right now.  TEN wants to drive.  Fingers crossed that we make it successfully!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Now THIS is a Real Christmas Song :)



Christmas Shoes = Slit My

Sorry, my positive attitude didn't last very long.

That song about some kid asking some man to give him money to buy his mother shoes b/c she is dying.  Hate it.  I mean seriously?  Why in the world does anyone want to listen to that at the holidays?  No matter what holiday you may/may not celebrate this time of year, I'm pretty sure if you are celebrating it's a happy occasion.  It's the CELEBRATION of something.  So, why are we singing about a poor kid whose mother is dying and needs to borrow some cash? 

Does anyone else understand this?


I'm sick. It's getting ready to snow buckets. Louis has a new raincoat.

Hello lovelies!

I'm feeling like crap, so excuse my overly pleasant demeanor.  I'm trying to trick myself into thinking I feel well :)

TEN and I went to the grocery store last night.  NOT because it is supposed to snow 2 feet today/tomorrow, but because it was my regular grocery night. 


When we arrived there were ZERO shopping carts inside, outside, randomly floating around the store.  None.  So, TEN went back outside and wrangled one from someone.  Anyway, we proceeded to spend about 3 hours in the grocery store because it was mobbed with those types that say "oh my gosh.  it's going to snow!  i won't be able to leave the house for a year.  i need to buy 54 batteries, 6 flashlights, 18 gallons of milk, etc"  It's like they really think they will never be able to leave their homes again.  Sheesh.  Annoying.  I think that somehow their manic shopping behavior rubbed off on us though, as I promptly spent $260.  What?!?!?  I know.  I haven't a clue what I bought.  Hmmm....

Anyway, it took another hour to get through the check out line, and by that point I was about to gnaw my arm off.  I am usually a rather chipper person, but last night I was starting to feel bad and very hungry.  That combo is not a good one, and TEN had to run to the deli to get something for us to eat the moment we got home because I couldn't even make a decision about what I wanted at that point.  I was OVER IT. 

Now the house is full of food.  The wine cellar is stocked.  And most importantly, of course, Louis has a new red raincoat to wear in the snow:

He's not particularly a fan of the hood part, but he will realize soon enough that this little "outfit" really does have a purpose.  He isn't a fan of the rain, or any other such things coming from the sky that make him wet.  He stands between my legs under the umbrella.  I was torn between the rain coat option, or the pet umbrella option:

But, for some reason I really didn't think TEN would have agreed to walk Louis anywhere with option #2, so I went with option #1 :)

So, here I am...feeling like poo, waiting for the snow to start and being quite nervous about the fact that I haven't bought a single gift for my mother...and a few others.  Christmas is just a week away!  Egads.  This snow is going to be fun and all, but seriously people...I wonder if my mother would be okay with the fact that she doesn't get any gifts this year due to my waiting to the last minute and it snowing? 

Hmmm...I'm thinking no.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

“Sex is like snow, you never know how many inches you're going to get or how long it will last”

Rumor has it that Smalltown, VA is going to be snowed in very soon!!!  The snow is supposed to start tomorrow around noon and not quit until late on Saturday.  Wahoooo!

You know what that means :)  Lots of time for blogging, and reading blogs and all that other fabulous stuff that I miss so much lately.  I've got much to update you on Daisy's "Cocktail Swap" last night.  Who needs to swap cookie recipes??  I like cocktail recipes better :)

Stay warm!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy 101....Take Deux!

Happy Day!  I received the Happy 101 award from mrs.mfc.  Thank you SO MUCH!!

The last time I received this award I listed out ten things that made me happy and called it a day.  THIS TIME I'm going to list them out in pictures.  Yes, yes...I'm stealing the idea from everyone else.  Get over it :)

So, here are the rules:

1. List 10 things that make me happy

2. List 10 bloggers that Brighten your day!

Ten Things That Make Me Happy:

1.  Dressing Louis up as Santa:

2.  Playing "Charlie's Angels" with the girls:

3.  This Christmas Card I made of TEN and I:

4.  This quote (yes, I realize it isn't a picture....shhhhh...)

"The biggest myth about Southern women is that we are frail types--fainting on our sofas...nobody where I grew up every acted like that. We were about as fragile as coal trucks."
--Lee Smith

5.  This picture of the original girls from our wine group.  It's hard to believe we actually started something that has grown so big!!!

6.  TEN..and the fact that he went to Virginia Tech too....and the fact that he is as silly as I am...and the fact that he listens to me when I need to be heard...and the fact that all he wants to do is make me happy. 


7.  Red, white & blue outfits.  With my anchor necklace too, of course! 


8.  The Travel Channel!  My favorite shows are Man vs. Food with Adam Richman and No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain :)

9.  The hope that one day I not only get to visit Brandford-on-Avon again, but perhaps own a little cottage of my own there!

10.  Knowing that TEN won't be mad at me for posting this.  Even though he asked me not to.  He is worried it looks bad that he dropped Louis, but it was an accident of course!  MK said I had to post it, and I just know TEN will understand (right sweetie???)....

And now I award the following ten bloggers with the Happy 101 award!

Molly from These Little Moments

Where is My Purse?

Leah from Thinking Out Loud

High Heel Gal from The High-Heel Diaries

Kassie from Raindrops on Roses

Blackeyed Susan from Susan in the South

pas de deux

Natalie Hill from (NO) Sex and the City

Prep in the Big Apple from MRM

beatrix from Friday I'm in Love

Happy Tuesday!!  I hope you visit a few of these blogs today, because they really do brighten my day....each and every one of them :)


Monday, December 14, 2009

Ho, Ho, Ho....

So, I may (or may not) have purchased some of the following for friends and family this weekend.  I am soooooooo excited about some of my finds!

And in closing.....

Dear Santa,

I still believe in you.  I know a lot of people don't when they get to be my age. assured that I am still an avid believer :)

So, I am writing to ask for two things for Christmas this year.  I've never heard of this designer before, but I'm sure you know exactly where to find him.  I adore both of these pieces, and if I could have them I think my life would be all the better for it.

Thanks so much Santa!